13th July 2016, Mysore
In order to bring back the cultivation of Grain Amaranth in tribal farming system, efforts are being made from last five years under Tribal Sub Plan funded by All India Coordinated Research Network on Potential Crops, ICAR, NBPGR, New Delhi.
Under this initiative, an awareness programme for more than 350 tribal farmers from two villages was conducted at Ponnachi village (120 km from Mysore) and at Konanakere village (100 km from Mysore).
Dr. Niranjana Murthy, Professor and Scheme Head and Dr. Arun Kumar, J. S. Jr. Agronomist, AICRN on Potential Crops, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru organized the programme at Girijana Ashrama School. They delivered lectures on the nutritional Importance, Cultivation, preparation and use of value added products of Grain Amaranth for Tribal farmers under Tribal Sub Plan.
The live exhibits of Grain seed, popped grain, Flour, prepared laddus prepared out of grain amaranth were shown to the farmers. During the programme, seeds of improved varieties of Grain Amaranth viz., ‘Suvarna’ and ‘KBGA-1’ were distributed to each farmer.
Visits were made to other tribal villages viz., Nalroad, Yarambadi, Sulekobe, K.S. Doddi and Nakkundi. These tribal villages are economically and socially very backward and really need our intervention for their food and nutritional empowerment.
Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka state house considerable number of tribal farmers (notified Schedule Tribes). The Kollegal taluk of this district is economically and socially backward and has many tribal villages where Finger millet and Maize are cultivated predominantly.
The Grain Amaranth which is a nutritionally potential crop was grown by tribal farmers in this district and the cultivation of which has been now reduced. The tribal farmers popularly called Grain Amaranth as “Hedda or Keera” locally and they used to eat popped grain dipped in honey which is considered very nutritional and to subside the hunger.
(Source: AICRN on Potential Crops, GKVK, Bengaluru)